Meet Competitive Eater Nick Wehry As He Prepares For Annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

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Who Is Nick Wehry? New Details On The Competitive Eater And The 4th Of July Contest

Every year on the 4th of July, people all around this great nation of ours gather together to celebrate that historic day in 1776 when we proclaimed our independence from England. We had a lot of work to do before we were actually free, but on the 4th, we don't think about that. Instead, we tend to think about grilling burgers, eating apple pie and trying to figure out the best way to work in red, white and blue into our ensembles.

But some people like to celebrate the 4th a little bit differently, and Nick Wehry is certainly one of those people. Nick is a competitive eater, and this year he'll be competing in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. It's his second time at the event, and there's scuttlebutt he just might have what it takes to win. Who Is Nick Wehry?

1. Road to Coney

Nick Wehry is, in some respects, an unlikely competitive eater. Prior to entering the ring of noms (a phrase I totally just coined, and yes you can use it) Nick's life was all about another form of competition: competitive bodybuilding! In fact, he even said that he believed eating contests breed binge-eating disorders! That all changed after he won $200 and a bunch of free donuts in a local eating competition. His hunger stoked, he set his eye on the prize: Coney Island. 

Though he's only been in the game for about a year, Nick is not here to play. In order to compete in this legendary eating challenge, Nick first had to qualify! He did so by eating 34 hot dogs in 10 minutes at a qualifying event in Florida. On Facebook he said: "I came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum. I'm all out of bubblegum." It's clear that Nick, while a funny guy, is not coming to Coney Island to play around: He's coming to eat hot dogs. 

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2. Healthy Lifestyle

Major League Eating reports that when Nick isn't gorging himself with hot, hot meat tubes, he dedicates his days to the clients on the roster her keeps as a diet coach. “I offer diet, training and nutrition counseling for those looking to compete in physique based competition or those just looking to improve their own health and wellness and lead a better life,” he shared on LinkedIn. If you want a man who guzzles pork competitively to tell you how to eat, well, that's between you and your kosher franks. 

Last year might have been Nick's very first appearance in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest, but he stood out from the pack nonetheless. In fact, Major League Eating, an actual website that continues to exist, says that Nick managed to scarf down a crazy amount of dogs, 31! While this may sound incredible to novices like you and I, it still only got him 10th place overall in the contest. Turns out he ate less than HALF of what last year's champion, Joey Chestnut, put away. 

3. Proud Papa 

Our man Nick lives in Connecticut with his wife Sasha, and their two kids, little Sylvie who is four and her baby brother William, who just turned one. What does Nick take even more seriously than indulging in spectacles of the First World that would surely seem grotesque and obscene in developing nations? Why, his role as a parent of course!

Nick doesn't gorge himself in front of the tykes, because it's important to him that they have a healthy relationship with food. Okay yeah that's pretty awesome. Great, now I feel bad about the whole "grotesque and obscene" part, ugh! As a devoted father, Nick was wise not to bring his kids along with him to Hooters, where he competed against his rival Chestnut in a chicken wing eating contest (he placed 4th, eating 254 wings in just 10 minutes). 

RELATED: How To Give A Hot Dog Blow Job On National Hot Dog Day

4. Feats Of Strength 

So how does a guy like Nick prep for Coney? Well first, he set goals. He knows he isn't likely to take the whole dog, but hopes to place in the top 5 eating 40 dogs in total. His healthy lifestyle might seem at odds with his choice of side gig, but in many respects, his attention to his body and its needs and the discipline and mental fortitude that's given him are assets. If you doubt this, then you need to see the man drink what is on record as the largest protein shake ever consumed on YouTube (lol). 

The shake itself clocked in at 13-pounds and was flavored with peanut butter and chocolate. Nick broke down what exactly was in the drink and its stats in the video: 1.5 gallons, 13 pounds, 3,100 calories, 598 grams of protein, 94 grams of carbohydrates, and 32 grams of fat. All of that and the guy managed to down the entire thing in under two minutes. My guts shifted in fear just from writing that. 

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5. Training

As you can imagine, prepping for an eating contest like this one requires a lot of specialized training. Nick broke it down: “I’ll go to the buffet, bring a scale, and see how much I can put away, or I’ll do it at home, and try to add capacity every time. That’s not to say everybody does that, but that’s what helped me progress and be able to have a true capacity four to five times the average person," he shared with local reporters. 

Hot dogs aren't the only snacks that Nick likes to jam down his throat competitively. In addition to his prowess with the wings at Hooters, he's ranked nationally for his ability to nosh down on pretzels, a bowl of Pho so large that no one had ever finished it before, and he even placed third in a corn eating contest, putting away 33 and half ears of the sweet summer veggie before he had to call it quits. Chestnut better watch his throne!

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.